Lesser Spotted Ulster: Seaforde



Ballydugan, Ballydugan Lake, Ballydugan Mill, Seaforde, Seaforde Estate, Seaforde Gardens & Butterfly Farm, Seaforde Tropical Butterfly House




Transmission 14/02/1995


25min 30sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, UTV Archive

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This episode of Lesser Spotted Ulster sees Joe Mahon visiting Seaforde in Co. Down. Here he meets Patrick Forde and hears a ghost story about Gregory’s Gap before exploring the estate, which includes Seaforde Gardens and the Tropical Butterfly House. Here, Joe meets and handles a python in the reptile house, sees butterfly chrysalises, fish and parrots and feeds peacocks on the lawn.

On Allan Chamber’s farm, Joe finds out about the first demonstration of Harry Ferguson’s first demonstration of the revolutionary new hydraulic system. His grandfather bought the first tractor after witnessing its efficiency at the demonstration and his uncle John Chambers was a draughtsman with Harry Ferguson and was credited with inventing the lynchpin used to connect link arms to the back of tractors.

Ballydugan lake powered Ballydugan Mill, which was being refurbished at the time, and Joe gets a beautiful view across the countryside from the top floor. Down at the lakeside, Noel McCann, a geologist talks about the basket-of-eggs topography of the drumlin hills left over from the Ice Age, discussing what lies beneath the surface of the ground.

At Ivy Kennedy’s house he finds a container garden with no soil as her plants grow on leaf mould.

Mickey Kelly has been on the Seaforde Estate for many years and he helped to build a hedge maze with a lookout tower to stop visitors from getting stuck inside. Joe finds his way to the maze’s centre.


A Northland Production for UTV

Presented by Joe Mahon

Contributors: Mickey Kelly, Patrick Forde, Noel McCann, Ivy Kennedy, Noel Killen, Allan Chambers


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